Get Help Now
Depression is a mood disorder that affects the way people think, feel, and present themselves. It can cause people to be unproductive in their day-to-day lives, remove people’s motivation, and even create suicidal ideation. This is a very common, manageable, and sometimes even curable disorder. It is also common for people to experience depression while going through a major life transition. Because mental health disorders can cause substance use disorder, people experiencing depression have to watch how they consume substances. Self-medication is common with this disorder and can lead to the worsening of symptoms. With proper care and help from a mental health provider, you can heal your depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can cause a variety of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. It is important to know when you are struggling with depression versus the general sadness that everyone experiences at times. Here are a few signs and symptoms that you are experiencing depression:
- Sadness, anxiousness, or emptiness that persist
- Heavy feelings of pessimism and hopelessness
- Frequent irritability for no real reason
- Decrease in pleasure from activities
- Increased fatigue and tiredness
- Decrease in the speed of speech and movement
- Noticeable increase or decrease in weight and appetite
- Suicidal ideation
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained headaches, cramps, digestive issues, and other bodily pains
Depression can feel like it is taking over your life. It can turn you into an unproductive and exhausted shell of yourself. This does not have to be the case with the help of a mental health provider you can heal yourself and reclaim your life.
Types of Depression
Depression does not present in one way and one way only. It is complicated and everyone experiences different combinations of symptoms. There is no one way to be depressed, and because of that fact, many people invalidate their feelings. The many different presentations of depression are why there are different categories of depression. Here are a few categories of depression:
- Persistent Depression
Occurs when cycles of depression last for at least two years. This can include major depressive episodes and periods of less severe depressive episodes. Patients may even have a few high days where they feel normal and then very aggressive depressive lows that can be triggered or come out of nowhere.
- Major Depression (Clinical Depression)
Occurs when people have repetitive cycles of extremely low moods. It can cause people to lose interest in normal activities to the point that it starts to affect their day-to-day lives. It can cause people to skip work or school and stop caring for their hygiene like normal.
- Bipolar Depression
People that experience bipolar disorder have extreme highs that cause mania and lows that cause depression. These states of depression are called bipolar depression. This is a form of depression that specifically people with bipolar disorder experience.
- Postpartum Depression
During pregnancy and birth, a lot of hormones are changed and released. This change in the production of hormones affects people differently. One of the most common ways new mothers experience these emotions is through postpartum depression. This makes it hard for new mothers to care for themselves and their babies, but these symptoms typically clear up within two weeks.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
It is also known as “winter depression”, which usually occurs in the winter months. Typically, it goes away at the start of spring or summer, depending on where the person lives. The lack of sun in the winter months plays a huge role in seasonal affective disorder, but in rare cases, can occur in the summer months.
Each form of depression has its struggles, but it can still be very useful for people with different types of depression to lean on each other as they work to heal themselves.
Treatments for Depression
Treatment plans for depression are individualized. Everyone works through it differently. The main treatment options are talk therapy and medication. There are different forms of talk therapy to choose from such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, the most commonly used for depression. If there are comorbid disorders like an anxiety disorder or a substance use disorder other therapies might be offered such as dialectical behavioral therapy or humanistic therapy. For depression, medications may vary because they typically also help with anxiety as well. A person may try multiple antidepressants before finding the proper one for themselves. Some people do a mixture of medication and talk therapy, others might just take the meds or just do therapy. Some people may try a mixture of these options until they find what works for them. Working through depression is a process, and it can be very helpful to have a mental health care provider support you through the process.
Depression and Substance Use Disorder
Depression can lead people down a very dark path. Sometimes that path includes using drugs and alcohol. Due to the way substances and depression affect the brain, people become dependent on substances quickly. When a person is depressed the natural production of dopamine and serotonin is interrupted. The production can be restored when a person gets enjoyment from using a substance. It is important to pay attention to your drug and alcohol use if you know or feel like you are dealing with depression. If you feel like you are going down a dark path because of depression and substance use disorder it might be time to get help.
“No other rehab I’ve been to has been able to provide an environment which enabled me to be myself and grow so much.”